Ursinus College today announced the appointment of Ginny Kollak as the new Curator of Exhibitions at The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art
. She will begin her appointment on November 25, 2013, and will work with Director Charlie Stainback on conceptualizing and developing the Museums special exhibitions and public programs. The Curator of Exhibitions is a new position at the Berman Museum and was established by Stainback; Kollak will be the first person to hold the post.
Prior to joining the Berman Museum, Ms. Kollak worked as an independent curator, writer, and freelance editor, and in 2011 she participated in the Young Curators Residency Program at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy. At the Fondazione she co-organized the exhibition Vedere un oggetto, vedere la luce (To see an object, to see the light), which featured contemporary works by 17 Italian artists displayed with natural specimens and antique scientific instruments.
Ms. Kollak served from 2004 to 2008 as a curatorial assistant at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. She contributed to more than 30 exhibitions at the Tang, including surveys of works by Dario Robleto, Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler, and Tim Rollins and K.O.S. She holds a B.A. in Art History and English from Williams College, and a M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
Jill Marsteller, Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Ursinus College said of the appointment, We were thrilled to receive a tremendous response from highly qualified individuals throughout the U.S. for this new curatorial position. While it was not easy to make a selection from such a strong pool of talented individuals, Ginny brings experience in a college art museum setting, a strong academic background, and an understanding of the role the visual arts can play in teaching and learning that make her the perfect fit for the Berman Museum.
Charles Stainback, Director of the Berman Museum, who chaired the search committee, added, I am delighted that Ginny will be joining the staff at the Museum. In addition to her impressive curatorial and scholarly credentials, she brings a wealth of practical knowledge including experience in the logistics of exhibition planning and execution and in organizing educational initiatives. Equally important, she has an irrepressible spirit of intellectual play and invention that I believe are central to engaging studentsand the general publicwith the arts.
The appointment of Ginny Kollak is the latest of a series of new initiatives being led by Charlie Stainback, who joined the Berman Museum as director in April, 2013. Stainback is redefining the role of the arts on the Ursinus campus, making the Museum a hub for the exchange of ideas between students and faculty, fostering new ideas and unexpected connections between objects, and enriching the educational experience of students across fields of study.
On October 17, 2013, Ursinus announced the gift of more than 1,300 works of art to the Berman Museum. The diverse collection includes paintings, sculpture, and prints by artists such as Harry Bertoia, William Glackens, Chaim Gross, and James and Jean Pierre Vasarely, as well as works on paper by George Bellows, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, John Sloan, James Whistler, and a wide range of other artists. The collection reflects the passion for collecting of the late Philip and Muriel Berman, who established The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art in 1989. Nancy Berman, President of the Berman Foundation and daughter of Philip and Muriel, gave the collection to Ursinus College in honor of her parents.
A special exhibition honoring the gift, A to Z: Highlighting the Berman Collection will be on view through January 12, 2014. The exhibition was organized by Stainback, Ursinus Professor of Art History Matt Shoaf, and Ursinus students, whose majors range from psychology to international relations. A to Z speaks to the breadth and depth of the collection as both an exhibition vehicle and a teaching resource.
In the months leading up to the October opening of A to Z, Stainback oversaw the refurbishment of the Berman Museum. The improvements to the building have opened up the gallery space and introduced a new color palette to revitalize the interior of the Museum. The modernization of the facility also includes a redesign of the lobby, which has expanded the area for visitors to gather and serves as an entry point to the Berman.